The ’70s have arrived in West Hampstead once more, and we’re loving it…
273 West End Lane is now home to Bobby Fitzpatrick, a legendary character whose penchant for rum, and passion for gambling, is matched only by his love of Formica and brown shag pile carpet.
Autographed photos – including the likes of Barry Manilow, Carrie Fisher and Leo Sayer – grace the faux wooden clad walls of the ground floor, taking you through to a fluorescent bar and a snug kitchen, tucked away in the back with its delightfully insipid interior and bamboo stools. Head down to the lower floor and you’ll be greeted by a fireplace harbouring a faux coal electric. They just don’t make them like that anymore…
Opposite is fluorescent bar number two, and for once the House Slushy is not suitable for children – choose from mouthwatering Pina Colada (Havana Rum, coconut, lime, pineapple) or Tequila Sunset (Olmeca Altos tequila, lime, pomegranate, orange). The basement also houses the lounge, with its swirling carpet, teak tables and velour chairs. Pull up a pouf or perch at the piano, while the punch is served. Perfect for parties each bowl serves 10-12, with a choice of Fish House Punch (Appleton Estate signature blend, Martell cognac, Crème de peche, lemon & peppermint sherbet, peaches), Pisco (ABA Pisco, pineapple, lime, sparkling wine) or Eunice Gin (Beefeater gin, Aperol, grapefruit, lime, pomegranate, soda).
The living room makes up the remainder of the basement – aside from the unisex toilets, each with its own shelf for extra rolls, potted plant and ’70s reading material – with the far wall decked out conservatory-style, with whitewashed brickwork, botanical pictures and windows to the street. Original wallpaper, furniture and lighting, vintage board games and ’70s memorabilia feature throughout.
Cocktails include an extensive selection of rum inspired by Bobby’s travels in The Caribbean – Bobby’s Rum Diaries – and draw from chapters of Bobby’s personal history; the Alison Mahoney, a spiced rum concoction, is named after his date to senior prom, alongside cocktails such as the Sanford University with vodka and cherry cola reduction. Bottled beers, cider and shooters including Bobby’s Falernum with homemade Caribbean liqueur complement the offering.
Probably best stick to drinks if you’re part of the growing vegan community, as this ’70s inspired menu is not catered to the modern, mindful appetite; but if you’re caught short then they’ll happily serve you a pizza minus the cheese, and there’s always fries and plantain chips. Not ideal but hey, there are downsides to losing a few decades!
There’s a load of classic American pizza options for those who don’t give a damn, including the more unusual toppings, such as chicken tikka and lamb doner. Snacks include cheesy dough balls, prawn cocktail and chicken nuggets (Jamie Oliver wouldn’t be happy) and desserts range from banana pie to mini donuts & dunks.
Bobby Fitzpatrick is the latest venue from ULG – the team behind Coin Laundry, Ask for Janice, Heist Bank and Alice House – and is available to hire for private parties and events (capacity: 150). Can we have something in East London next, please?
Bobby Fitzpatrick, 273 West End Lane, London, NW6 1QS
Mon to Wed 16:00-23:30; Thu: 16:00-01:00; Fri & Sat: 12:00-01:00; Sun: 12:00-00.00
Words: Sarah Hardy
Photos: Bobby Fitzpatrick